In this article in the NY Times, David Sax profiles a cafe in Brooklyn where laptops rule the tabletops and 5/6 of the overall space. I'm not wishing to move the cafe toward that particular business model - I believe we've achieved a careful balance within our small space. However, Sax was able to personalize the laptop drones who he originally believed "were just sitting around e-mailing other writers in other cafes around the world."
I've have met many writers, business people, moms, professors, students in Modern Times Coffeehouse; some of you have been calling this your "third-space" before that term was coined. I can't keep up with every one who comes through; so, inspired by this article, I'm asking you to introduce yourselves - here, on our Modern Times Coffeehouse blog.
What are you typing away for over there? What has been haunting your screen lately? The classic DC question: What do you do? Who are you?
After much anticipation, we are proud to release our new, limited-edition, hand-screen-printed Modern Times Coffeehouse shirts. Screen-printing is no small task, so before making the t's available, we wanted to let everyone know a bit more about the process and all the love that went into making these shirts a reality.
Late this summer, while stumbling upon what seemed to be just another ordinary yard sale in Mount Pleasant, former Modern Times barista Matthew Davis discovered an old, empty screen printing frame, alongside a bag of inks and a swatch of silk-screen fabric. Not sure it would all work, he decided to haul it home anyways. Many of you have experienced Matthew's fine artistry served up warm in a cup. You may not have realized, however, that his artistic expression extends far beyond a delicious espresso. Now employed as a full-time illustrator and graphic designer, for years, Matthew had talked with Modern Times owner Javier Rivas about designing a custom t-shirt for the Coffeehouse. Now armed with (at least some of) the necessary screen printing tools, Matthew decided to take action.
Step one: creating two prints and a design prototype. Step two: boss' approval. Step three: lots of pizza. Step four: calling lots of friends to provide free labor in exchange for pizza.
With a full, rag-tag screen printing crew mobilized, we began work on an initial batch of 20 limited edition shirts. A near fatal accident with an excited cat, spilled ink and flying kitty litter, caused a temporary detour in the production process. But Matthew's determination to complete the job meant that three days later, the beautiful new t-shirts were ready for their introduction to the world.
First batch is just 20 strong. Each t-shirt is designed by Matthew, hand-printed and individually numbered.
That means for now, until we print more, only 19 people in DC can look as good as you (if you buy one).
$25 buys you one.
For more information on Matthew's work, check out davisionary.tumblr.com or follow his tweets @davisionarybros.
photo and latte courtesy of James B.
4th Anniversary Open Mic
- Friday, December 3, 7:30pm - 10:30pm
- Featuring DJ Manimal and a live music jam (bring your instruments!)
- We will be auctioning off a limited edition hand printed MTC shirt (read about them on the previous blog post) and other goodies!
- Light fare and drinks will be provided
Modern Times Coffeehouse is proud to present the artwork of local painter and health care activist Regina Holliday. Many of you are already familiar with Regina's work through her iconic mural entitled 73 Cents, just outside the Coffeehouse, on the wall opposite the CVS parking lot. Regina's paintings will be on display in the Coffeehouse throughout the month of December. For more information on Regina and her health care advocacy, check out her blog.
Some words from Regina about the show:
Did I ever mention Fred was for the most part a stay-at-home dad? Yes, he was an adjunct at three universities and worked part-time at the video store, but otherwise he was with the children. When Isaac was a baby and Fred would have to wile the hours away taking care of an infant, he would often strap Isaac into a front-pact baby carrier and go to Politics and Prose. Politics and Prose was Fred’s favorite store. He would spend hours there. As Isaac grew, Fred would place him first in the backpack, and as time passed, the stroller, and off they would go to Politics and Prose and divide their time between the film section and the mouse hole in the children’s section.
This was Fred and Isaac’s routine for three years. Then in March 2009 Fred became ill. Fred could no longer visit bookstores. I would bring books to him instead. On his birthday, I brought him three books from P&P, and due to his intense pain and his pain medication, he would never finish one of them.
When Fred died in June, we received many letters of sympathy, but one letter I treasure the most came from a P&P bookstore employee. She said how sorry she was that we had lost Fred and recounted all the many times Fred had carried Isaac in her store. I had had no idea that they had spent so much time within the store. While little Freddie was in school and while I worked, Fred and Isaac were surrounded by a maze books in a room filled with a love of knowledge. My eyes filled with tears as read of this vision of a father and son.
While painting the mural 73 cents in July, many staff members came to speak to me about the painting. Even the co-owner Barbara came out a few times to talk about medicine and paint.
When Howard Dean had a book signing at Politics and Prose, he came out to see the mural with one of my friends. When I tell people how to get to the mural 73 cents, I often say you can’t miss it. It is right by Politics and Prose.
So you can image how happy I was to be invited to show my canvas work at Politics and Prose later this month. The canvas work I have done will be displayed in the coffee shop in the basement of P&P from November 19, 2010- January 5, 2011. The opening reception will be Monday, November 22 from 5:00-7:00 pm. I will be showing many pieces about our personal struggle for information during Fred’s cancer journey. I will also show some pieces that comment on social media, open government and Meaningful Use. I hope you can make it.
I am glad I will see Fred’s face again inside of P&P, or as my little Isaac calls the store: Daddy’s Library.